The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) have published a new clinical practice guideline for oral appliance therapy, which updates the practice parameters that the AASM published in 2006. The guideline recommends that sleep physicians consider prescription of oral appliances for adult patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who are intolerant of CPAP therapy or prefer alternate therapy, and it suggests that oral appliance therapy be provided by a qualified dentist using a custom, titratable appliance.

The guideline notes that CPAP therapy should still generally be the first-line option for treating OSA because it is superior in improving oxygen saturation and reducing the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) and arousal index. The guideline also recommends that sleep physicians prescribe oral appliances for adult patients who request treatment of primary snoring, emphasizing that diagnosis of primary snoring should be rendered by a sleep physician and not a dentist since snoring is a cardinal symptom of OSA.

The guideline is published in the July issues of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine and the Journal of Dental Sleep Medicine.

Read the guideline:  Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Snoring with Oral Appliance Therapy: An Update for 2015

Read the press release:  AASM and AADSM issue new joint clinical practice guideline for oral appliance therapy